(Media release from the Office of Georgia Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones):

Lt. Governor Burt Jones and Senate Majority Caucus Chair Senator Jason Anavitarte (R – Dallas) on Monday announced a 2024 legislative priority to address teenage social media use and cyberbullying.

“Social media touches every part of our daily lives, and while it certainly has its benefits, the potential negative impacts it has on our children cannot be dismissed,” said Lt. Governor Burt Jones. “This legislation will be a critical step toward age verification, removing addictive content, and cracking down on cyberbullying in the social media landscape. Our goal is to ensure we’re safeguarding students against the harmful aspects of social media while maintaining their ability to learn, grow, and connect with the world around them. It is time for policymakers to prioritize real solutions for parents, and in Georgia, we are committed to leading the way.”

“I want to thank Lt. Governor Jones for prioritizing the safety and well-being of Georgia’s children,” said Majority Caucus Chairman Anavitarte. “Parents and schools need our attention and unwavering support in their efforts to build healthy communities by limiting the negative impacts of social media. The mental health of our children and limiting outlets for bullying are critical, and I believe this is a key first step in addressing these issues.”

The proposed legislation, to be introduced during the 2024 Legislative Session, would require social media companies to take concrete steps to verify the age of their users. Existing rules requiring schools to monitor bullying and to educate students and teachers on this issue would be updated to reflect the realities of modern technology. Additionally, social media companies would be required to remove features they know or find to be addictive to children.